In what can only be called the longest Zoom conference in the history of small box teleconferences, the first-ever virtual Democratic National Convention has come to a close. All of this was supposed to be an in-person event in Milwaukee, but the president fucked up the handling of the coronavirus and here we are. Democrats have made their official case as to why Democratic presidential nominee (no presumptive) Joe Biden is the man for the job, and in truth Joe Biden himself made a compelling case as to why voters should vote for him and not just against Donald Trump.
This night was all about Biden and he delivered a compelling speech that made him look and sound, possibly for the first time since announcing his candidacy, like a president. He vowed to purge the darkness that is really just the president’s orange blush brush covering the sun with hope, love and light.
Trump and his campaign have been trying for months to smear Biden as a doddering, senile 77-year-old who is being controlled by nefarious left-wing forces in the Democratic Party. But his smooth performance made those attacks now seem like an expectations-lowering miscalculation.
It will become clear in November whether the Democratic vision spelled out at the convention — one of diversity, inclusion, empathy and vows to tackle difficult challenges like racism and climate change — will be embraced by voters in a deeply polarized America. The election will also show whether Biden and his team put sufficient focus on the economy — an area where Trump has enjoyed higher poll ratings than for many other policy aspects of his term.
In truth, if Biden had walked onto the stage and just said, “Thank y’all for coming out, God bless and good night,” I would probably be here hyping that up just as well considering that’s how bad I want Trump out of office. But to Biden’s credit, he had to check off two boxes on my list. First was to deliver a competent speech, and not because I believe that he’s senile or whatever Trump’s administration has been pushing, but because I’m tired of his off-the-cuff comments that end up fucking him and the whole party in an election that’s far too important. (That’s where the senile accusations come from.) And secondly, I wanted Biden to push whatever leftover idea of hope that the Obamas left behind. We have been in arguably the worst year in America’s history and the only way to pull us out of this, the only way to beat back the enormous amount of darkness smothering modern day Gotham is a message of change, and Biden delivered.
But it wasn’t Biden that pulled on America’s emotional heart strings, that moment (and probably the moment of the night) belonged to 13-year-old Brayden Harrington, who has a stutter. And yet he delivered a “more succinct and eloquent argument to vote for Joe Biden than many former presidents and heads of states who had spoken before him,” Vox reports.
Harrington noted that Biden shared with him that he too had a stutter for years
“He told me that we were members of the same club. We stutter,” Harrington recalled in a pre-taped video recorded at his home, Vox reports. “I’m just a regular kid, and in the short amount of time, Joe Biden made me more confident about something that’s bothered me my whole life.”
What Harrington and Jacquelyn, the New York Times security guard whose spontaneous meeting with Biden went viral, did was not only push the humanistic side of Biden (and going against this current administration, believe me that’s important) but it pushed a message of kindness and empathy with the common person—a component that’s been sorely missed during King Joffrey’s reign.
“Joe Biden cared,” Harrington said. “Imagine what he can do for all of us. Kids like me are counting on you to elect someone we can all look up to.”
Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) and Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) both showed up and delivered. It’s hard not to love Duckworth, a wounded Iraq vet who is one of the most outspoken senators in staying on the loose skin under the president’s chin, and she pulled no punches on Thursday: “We have a coward-in-chief who won’t stand up to Vladimir Putin.” And just like that I realized that I can’t love Tammy Duckworth more than I already do.
Booker didn’t stand out during his presidential campaign, partly because of the overcrowding and partly because this was Biden’s race to lose, but on Thursday he reminded America why he was at one point the sweetheart who everyone thought would pick up where Obama left off.
From CNN’s Chris Cillizza:
His speech — about the power of hard work and the need to work together — was full of the sort of brimming-over optimism that is his calling card. Don’t underestimate how difficult it is to bring that optimism, passion and energy when standing in a mostly empty room in New York City, with no audience or applause. I also thought Booker’s self-effacing joke that his girlfriend (aka actress Rosario Dawson) liked Bernie Sanders more than him — in a segment of former 2020 candidates he moderated — was a nice touch.
But the whole night wasn’t a homerun; in fact there were several moments that were an absolute miss.
Like, Michael Bloomberg. What. The. Fuck. Was. This?
Seriously, who thought it was a good idea to have Bloomberg punching at the TV?
Presidential historian Jon Meacham, who I’m sure is a nice fellow, was a bad choice during a teleconference conference. In short, I completely understand why he was there and historical context is relevant but wasn’t nobody trying to hear that shit. The great thing about Trump is that we don’t need historical data to understand why he’s a horrible president. He’s doing that work for us.
I still don’t know where I stand on having Julia Louis-Dreyfus moderate the evening. I mean she played a vice president in Veep so I guess that makes her relevant but this is a different time and a different level of urgency and I don’t know if Dreyfus hit the mark. But I’m still mulling this over.
The Chicks’ version of “The Star-Spangled Banner” seemed to play well with white ally Twitter but...I mean...that shit was iight. It wouldn’t get no play in this house but I wouldn’t run shouting to Alexa to turn it off. I mean I don’t think it was better than this woman who just showed up at the Lincoln Memorial and showed out, but I mean... Black people.
John Legend and Common’s “Glory” is always going to be with us. It’s a thing. A thing you can’t publicly bash because slave movie and all but nigga I’m so tired of these modernized spirituals. Like enough already. I get it, the road was long, we have a lot more work to do but I don’t know if I need to hear it sung out to me with Common’s monotone ass rapping.
That’s it. It’s over. Now we have work to do. If you are looking for me I’ll be working on a song called “Voting” about the struggles of Black voting to be sung by Jamie Foxx and J. Cole.
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